TRANSCRIPT One Bad Mother Ep. 357: Boredom. Plus, Renee Colvert is Back!

Biz is joined by Renee Colvert, from Can I Pet Your Dog? We start the show off and end with a reflection on the difficult circumstances we find ourselves in from the continued threat of the pandemic to the centuries long threat of injustice towards people of color. As parent, we are on the front lines to teach our children to understand the issues around racism, privilege, and history.  We also talk about boredom. “I’m bored!” is something we are hearing 8 or 9 times a day with all this time stuck at home. Whether it’s our kids or our dogs, what does boredom look like and how does it make us feel? The internet has a lot of mixed messages for us on boredom, per usual! Plus, Biz has summer plans and Renee is on the move! 

Podcast: One Bad Mother

Episode number: 357

Transcript

biz ellis

Hi. I’m Biz.

theresa thorn

And I’m Theresa.

biz

Due to the pandemic, we bring you One Bad Mother straight from our homes—including such interruptions as: children! Animal noises! And more! So let’s all get a little closer while we have to be so far apart. And remember—we are doing a good job.

music

“Summoning the Rawk” by Kevin MacLeod. Driving electric guitar and heavy drums. [Continues through dialogue.]

biz

This week on One Bad Mother—boredom! That which doesn’t make you less bored make you more bored. Plus, Biz has summer plans! And Renee Colvert is back and on the move!

crosstalk

Biz and Renee Colvert: Wooooo!

biz

Hello, everybody! [Laughs.] [Biz and Renee repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss their respective weeks.]

crosstalk

Biz: Hello, Renee! Renee: Hi, guys! [Laughs.]

renee colvert

Hello! Thank you for having me back. As always, it is impossible to fill the shoes that were before me—but I sure love talking to ya!

biz

I like talking to you. [Renee laughs.] A little business to start off the show.

crosstalk

Renee: Yeah. It’s a tough day. Biz: A lot of things.

biz

It’s a—it’s a hard day. We are recording this a week in advance. Uh, it is Friday the 29th. Usually we record on a Monday and then release on a Thursday, but—ehhh, schedule changing ‘cause it’s summer. Uh, and—so—it is… a weird day? For America right now. And… when this episode airs, it’s going to have been a week after some incredibly difficult times. As we always say, this show is supposed to be timeless rather than timely, but that isn’t always easy when we find ourselves in the middle of great sadness; frustration; rage; and the unknown. The deaths, sickness, financial chaos, and general unknown due to the coronavirus pandemic, coupled with the never-ending and unacceptable racial injustice our country continues to experience feels truly overwhelming. These are difficult conversations to have with our children. The horrific events that continue to take place in our country—including the recent death of George Floyd—spotlight the importance of these conversations. Not just today! [Laughs dejectedly.] But every day. In today’s show notes, you’re gonna find links that we hope will help? So… I… just wish… peace to… uh… everyone. Today. Listening. There is a lot going on. I also wanna take a moment to… thank all of the essential workers who are helping this country through the, uh, coronavirus pandemic. We have had an enormous loss of life due to the pandemic. And… the job loss and the financial insecurity that we face as a country right now— [through laughter] it’s staggering! It is… staggering. And… I just want to say that… we see you. Y’know. The best way we can be here for you, I feel, is just to keep coming in and doing this? And… the hotline—as always—is always there for calling. We see you. You’re doing a very good job. And we appreciate you. And finally, I want to give a shoutout to Theresa. Uh, and her family. Theresa is taking a little time off from the show because her family really needs her attention. And… [Laughs.] If there’s one thing we understand on One Bad Mother, it is definitely that. [Laughs.] I mean, like— [Renee laughs.] I don’t think, Renee, Theresa and I have ever had a day where like there hasn’t been, like, a—is somebody sick? Is somebody whatever? Where it’s like—fuck the show. Do what you gotta go do.

crosstalk

Renee: [Through laughter] Right. Absolutely. Yes. Priorities are straight! Yes! [Laughs.] Biz: And I— [Laughs.] Jesus! I totally—yeah.

biz

Priorities are very, very straight. So… uh… Theresa? I’ll say it again—fuck this shit! Go take care of yourself and your family! [Renee laughs.] I… am a really great person and I sent them all ice cream. [Laughs.]

renee

Aw, yeah, you did.

biz

I did!

crosstalk

Biz: I was like, how much ice cream can I send you guys? Renee: Yeah, you did!

biz

I am gonna send every single person in that family a tub of ice cream!

crosstalk

Biz: And I will continue—that’s right! Renee: Everybody gets their own tub.

renee

And you’re speaking of, like, bathtub.

crosstalk

Biz: Like, bathtubs of ice cream. Renee: That’s how much… right.

renee

Of course. Of course.

biz

Basically… Theresa, we see you. You are doing a incredible job. That leads… me into saying thank you—once again—to Renee for coming back to join me to talk about stuff ‘cause I—only with my children?

renee

Sure, yeah.

biz

And I need to—you might be… the only other adult I talk to this much! Even more than my husband right now. [Laughs.]

renee

Beyond honored. And as always—good people never love to hear that they’re good. Ever. So I know that this next part’s gonna be very painful for you.

biz

[Crying out in fake pain] Do it!

renee

Uh, but [through laughter] based off that intro that you just did? And the way that we love Theresa? Like… it is an absolute joy to talk to you. You are such a good person and I—I hope that all of us can aspire to be more like Biz and Theresa. ‘Cause you guys? Man. [Biz laughs.] I do! Every day! I don’t have a bracelet yet that is What Would Biz and Theresa Do? But it’s coming! Probably! [Laughs.]

biz

Y’know—y’know what we—y’know, there’s literally a sign that hangs over our back door in our house? And it says—don’t be a jerk. [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Renee: Yes. Yeah. Words to live by. [Through laughter] Yes. Yes. That’s—pretty easy! Biz: [Through laughter] That’s the family—the family motto! That’s a good place to start.

renee

We can just begin with that, maybe?

biz

Yeah. Let’s just start there.

renee

[Sighing] Ay, ay, ay.

biz

Renee?

renee

Yes.

biz

I’m—because we’re not in a studio… I can see what’s going on around you.

renee

Yup.

biz

So I’ll just make it mysterious and say—how are you?

renee

What’s going on with me?

biz

What’s going on with you?

renee

Well, and I tell you what—uh—I think Oprah said it best in her commencement speech that we’re all graduating in one way or another! [Laughs.] So—uh— [Biz laughs.] So yeah! So I—in a very good way—have a—a move upon me. I’ve, uh, had roommates for years and I think, y’know, this sort of escalated the—I’ve always wanted to live alone, so let’s—let’s give it a shot. So, uh, so yes! The things that you’re saying is just—my entire apartment is, uh, boxed up. And, to be very sure, what you’re seeing is my roommate’s stuff that is boxed up. I am a minimalist. I own nothing. So, uh, so we’re gonna see how easy—it’s gonna be an easy move? But then it’s gonna be interesting to see how I navigate a new apartment with nothing in it.

biz

Ooh! So it’s just you! You are—

renee

Just me!

biz

You’re about to live all on your own.

renee

Just all on my own! Very excited.

biz

That is very exciting! Do you need me to freak you out? Uh—

renee

Please do.

biz

—like my mother did. Uh—and, uh, just send you all sorts of like door jambs— [Renee laughs.] Like, cans of mace. Just anything—just—just in case. Just in case. [Laughs.]

renee

Yes. You know what I—yes! Of—of course I want that! Of course I do. But as you were just talking about how I—you haven’t talked to another adult, uh, as my roommate is moving, she’s, y’know, mostly in her other apartment right now. And the amount that I am talking to the dog is already alarming. It is full-blown conversations. In a way that is… more entertaining to me than any show I’ve watched in quarantine. [Biz laughs.] And I’m like—so there’s—I’m not a lot—I’m aware of it, but I’m not alarmed by it yet. Which means I’m gonna be a crazy dog lady in… three days? How long do we think this is gonna last?

biz

And what do you mean, “in”? [Laughs.]

renee

[Through laughter] Oh. Very good point. Very good point. It’ll be apparent to strangers on the street that I am a crazy dog lady.

biz

I remember when my cat, many, many, many, many years—my first, like, cat that I had as a, y’know, living on my own, bouncing from man to man and town to town—cat Louise.

renee

Yes.

biz

I remember when she finally passed away, it was—I mean, it had been—she was—gotta be 20. She passed away and I remember a few weeks later, I said to Stefan—we have to get another cat? Because… I’m just walking around and talking… [Renee laughs.] —To nobody! ‘Cause I used to talk to Louise so much! I would just, y’know, I’d be doing laundry and be like, [singing] hello! I’m doing this and we’re talking about the things! [Regular voice] And like… that—I just realized I was doing it to nobody? [Laughs.] [Renee laughs.] I mean it! I was like, we need something here for me to be talking to again. So I—I get it! I get it.

renee

But I also like that you’re slightly on board with me and the solution is not, oh, should I take some inventory of me slowly becoming more and more crazy.

biz

No!

renee

It is—let me just give an object to focus my craziness toward.

biz

Yes. Yes!

renee

Which I think is smart. I think that’s the correct solution to this. Good.

biz

Isn’t that why we have pets and children? [Laughs.]

renee

[Through laughter] Yes. I hope so. Yeah! Exactly!

biz

Focus my crazy on.

renee

Precisely.

biz

Well, good luck… on your move!

crosstalk

Renee: Thank you! Very much. It’s—yeah. Biz: This is a weird time to be moving! [Laughs.]

renee

Thank you. It is. It is. But again, I don’t have much to move so I’m not gonna have to inconvenience anybody. Um, also I should say that the apartment is furnished that I’m going. I’m taking over a friend’s apartment? So I’m just buying off all of her furniture?

biz

Nice!

renee

So the transition in there is going to be a… a—oh, now I have nice things to contend with. As somebody who has never had nice things before, it’ll be interesting to see. [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Biz: Oh! Very nice. [Laughs.] Renee: How I tend to such—yes. [Laughs.]

biz

Ughh!

renee

Now, Biz. How are you? How has your week been?

biz

Well… [Laughs.]

renee

Yeah? [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Renee: Great! Next segment. Mm-hm. Biz: I’m here. Yeah.

biz

You know what? I’m alright. We are… all still sheltering in place here. School is over. School is done. And—

renee

Okay. And is that proving to be a good thing?

biz

No! School being over is great when you have camp. Or… you can go to a park or go over to our friend’s pool or have playdates. I will let… children… live in my house. All summer. I don’t care. But they can’t come now.

renee

Oh, right.

biz

And so… it’s just… just like it was when we were in school, except without… a schedule.

renee

Any structure at all. Yeah.

biz

Yeah. I mean, we’re finding our way and like… but like—ugh. Ughhh! Ahhhh!

crosstalk

Renee: Yeah. Yeah? That’s a fair review of this! Biz: I don’t do well?

biz

Yeah. I don’t do well with summer in general? Like… uh, people who listen to the show for a long time know that usually, right after summer—after Christmas break—after any break—I’m not alright. I’m not alright. Not okay. Uh, I’m not gonna be okay here. I will just say—for the record—I don’t wanna fucking do this. And I’m very tired. And… I have to pull from resources that are no longer available to me in my soul. To… keep us all from going crazy. And I don’t—[confidentially] I don’t wanna do that, either. [Regular voice] I don’t wanna—I don’t wanna. I don’t wanna I don’t wanna I don’t wanna! My inner toddler is like—

renee

Absolutely!

biz

Fuck this shit! [Laughs.] [Renee laughs.] That… is where I am. Fuck this shit.

renee

I don’t think that’s inner toddler. I think that’s inner soul. Because—

crosstalk

Biz: Yeah. Oh, yeah. My soul, yeah. My soul. [Laughs.] Screaming. Renee: —last time I was on here—

renee

Which I think was about six weeks ago? We were all saying—I’m at a breaking point and there’s no break in sight. And now it’s six weeks later! And there’s still no break in sight!

crosstalk

Biz: Well, yeah, let’s get real! School ain’t gonna be— Renee: It’s unmanageable!

biz

School ain’t—they ain’t no school! Ain’t no school anymore! Let’s get real! [Renee laughs.] Let’s all… take the real pill now, everybody. It’s gonna be… a weird… second surge is coming, they say! And like I just— [Renee laughs.] [With aggravation] Blech! Bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh!

renee

Mm-hm! Mm-hm!

biz

Bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh. Bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh.

renee

[Through laughter] Yes.

biz

And with that said— [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Renee: Great. And couldn’t have been said more articulately, might I add. [Laughs.] Yes. Biz: That ties—you’re welcome!

biz

That ties in very nicely to what we’re gonna talk about today, which is—boredom.

music

Banjo strums; cheerful banjo music continues through dialogue.

theresa

Please—take a moment to remember: If you’re friends of the hosts of One Bad Mother, you should assume that when we talk about other moms, we’re talking about you.

biz

If you are married to the host of One Bad Mother, we definitely are talking about you.

theresa

Nothing we say constitutes professional parenting advice.

biz

Biz and Theresa’s children are brilliant, lovely, and exceedingly extraordinary.

theresa

Nothing said on this podcast about them implies otherwise. [Banjo music fades out.] [Biz and Renee repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss the weekly topic.]

biz

Renee.

renee

Yes.

biz

Boredom.

renee

Yeah.

biz

You are… a… doggie parent.

renee

I am. Yes. [Laughs.]

biz

And I am a child-y parent.

renee

A child parent. Right. [Laughs.]

biz

And, uh, I just—I want to… I like to have you on and then horrify you with— [Renee laughs.] —the realities, uh, sometimes, that parents face. As a parent, before I had kids, I really don’t know what the crazy was [through laughter] in parenting. So, uh, every time a person becomes a parent, they get to then feel like… it’s all myth. Okay? So like… only now are people writing articles about boredom.

crosstalk

Renee: Of course! Of course! Yeah! Biz: And—yeah!

biz

And I will say… boredom… in our current day and age, is really preached—after the whole, like, we need to help manage our children’s schedules and they need to be busy and they need to be perfect and be able to compete with everybody and how will they get in college if little Tina isn’t playing the violin by three? Right? Like— [Renee laughs.]

renee

Yes. Yes!

crosstalk

Biz: A lotta—lotta stuff! Right? Renee: Facts! Right!

biz

And then… uh, now, we’ve done a horrible job because our children don’t know how to be bored. Apparently. Uh, I think they’re really good at being bored. You know how I know? Because my children come to me every five minutes and inform me they’re bored. So. They can be bored! [Laughs.]

crosstalk

Renee: It’s very possible! They’ve announced it eight times today! It can happen! Biz: Don’t understand what all the articles are about! They’ve announced it eight times! Uh—

biz

Yeah! I had some fun. And I googled… [Laughs.] [Renee laughs.] “Kids and boredom.”

renee

And what does google say about such a thing?

biz

Google had the following as the first, like, y’know, like—you google it and then they’ll be like, the top questions? That people have searched for? These are fun. We are—we are barely surviving as a society, by the way. [Renee laughs.] ‘K.

crosstalk

Renee: Okay, let’s hear it. What do we got? Biz: Question—question number one.

biz

“Is boredom dangerous?” ‘K? That was—I think of “idle hands are the devil’s hands?”

crosstalk

Biz: I guess? Is what that is? I don’t know! Renee: Okay. that’s where they were going with that. Okay. Alright. Okay.

biz

I mean, like—I—in all the times I was bored I never, like, picked a brick up and slammed it into my hand to see if I—that would be less boring.

renee

Certainly not. Certainly not. I understand that… the caution of it? But I— [Biz laughs.] Agree with you. That, uh, for— [through laughter] I think—for a parent who is googling “is boredom bad,” that’s not the first thing they need to read. They care and they are trying, so they don’t need to be told that oh, it could be dangerous. Yeah.

biz

Well! They certainly—this certainly isn’t telling you that it’s dangerous; it’s just so many people— [Renee laughs.] —have apparently googled, “Is boredom dangerous.” I don’t even know how that’s a question! That’s okay. Maybe they were bored and they had time to think about it.

renee

Right. [Laughs.]

biz

“Is boredom stressful?” This was another one. And I actually have an answer to this. I find… when my children are bored… very stressful to me. Because… they just keep coming to me… and saying—I am bored. Ellis will actually just… wander around me. Like a shark. Saying that he’s bored or just making noises. Like, [bored, strained, whale-voice style sound] ughhhhhh. And I’m like, look, you found something to do.

renee

That’s a perfect response, by the way. That’s great. That’s exactly what you should respond with. [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.]

biz

That’s my response. This is… one of my favorites. “Is getting bored easily a sign of intelligence?” [Laughs.]

renee

Oh! Somebody very, very confident in themselves! [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.] [Through laughter] I have—I must be a genius. You see, I find nothing to do. [Laughs.]

biz

[Through laughter] I’m so smart! Oh, but Einstein was incredibly bored!

renee

[Through laughter] Exactly! It’s a testament that I’m staring at this—hey, probably means I’m a genius [inaudible]. [Laughs.]

biz

I’m a genius! I’ll just google that support. I did not click on that to see. The—and then finally… “Can—” [Laughs.] “Can I die from boredom?”

renee

Oh, God. Okay.

biz

See—see the first question, “Is boredom dangerous.” You can’t die from boredom. I am 99.9% sure that you can’t. So— [Renee laughs.] Renee—I know—I just shared with you what my child does when he is bored. What does your dog do when they are bored? Because I know! A dog’s—I’ve heard the rumors. Of the bored… “don’t leave your dog bored.”

crosstalk

Renee: Completely! Biz: That dog needs activity.

renee

Absolutely. And as with—every time I’m on this, I—uh—I can’t express enough how different dogs and kids are. How dare I compare the two?! How dare—I know this. [Biz laughs.] But—but to speak to the stressful element of it, I think it’s because it elicits guilt within me? That I need to be providing more stuff for him. ‘Cause what he does it, uh, he’s a thespian if he is nothing. Uh— [Biz laughs.] —the amount of throwing himself to the ground and huffing and sighing and—until—he’ll get up and like nudge to—to play. But I’m still working. And so there’ll be, like, a—a little—I gotcha. Just let me send four or five more emails. Uh, and then—and then! That is not an exaggeration! Just throwing himself to the ground and sighs. [Biz laughs.] Or—and I think you might be able to see it on this hat. He, uh, he’s now taken to just nibbling at things? And he does it so gently that you’re just like—aww, I’m getting some kisses! And then you look down to see that there’s an entire hole in your pants. Like, to the point where—oh, I can’t wear these anymore! Uh, and [through laughter] this whole time I was just like, he loves me! He loooves me! [Laughs.] Nope! Not at all. He just nibbled a hole through your pants. [Through laughter] Just—so.

biz

This is actually—that’s actually very similar to the, like… go find something to do. And then they go. And… you don’t hear from them—from your children—and you’re like, that’s great. Look at them.

crosstalk

Renee: Look at him. Oh, he did it! Biz: They’re being creative! And they figured it out.

biz

And then there’s like a small fire or—or, like—the wall has been painted or there are haircuts being given or—whatever they’ve decided to do… it not something—or—

renee

That is—right. It now requires maintenance on your part.

crosstalk

Biz: Yeah! You can never wear those pants again. [Laughs.] Right? That’s what’s happened. Yes. Renee: To, uh, to go fix. [Laughs.] Yes. Yes. Exactly. Exactly.

biz

So—what is the social pressure on… keeping your dog not bored? [Laughs.]

renee

Ooh! That—I mean, that is pretty good. I think… yeah! I guess it’s a little bit less boredom and more… uh—it—people who don’t have dogs. Will be like, I mean, I could never. I could never—in an apartment? To keep them cooped up in an apartment? And you’re just like—ahhh! Uh—now, a little bit— [Biz laughs.] —a tiny bit, I have now learned that that is a way to get people to stop pressuring you. But ultimately, what you’re saying is—I’m too selfish to take them on five walks a day. I—I couldn’t. I couldn’t dare. ‘Cause it’s a lot of work and a much easier answer is—I just don’t feel it’s fair to the dog. You’re like, well, is the Humane Society better? I don’t know that it is! [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.] I don’t know—I feel like it might be giving him a step up here! Maybe I’m not. Um… but yeah! I think the—the social pressure is… yeah! Gosh. I don’t know. I think it’s just the quality of, like, living you give them. I haven’t heard specifically about boredom. But I have heard about, like, environment. Uh, being necessary. How about for you guys? When it comes to kids?

biz

I believe there are entire periodicals— [Renee laughs.] —dedicated to… what a horrible job we’re doing if our children are or are not bored. One of my—one of my favorite—there’s, like—you’ll be hit with a wave of… boredom is good for your children. You know what, guys? Sure.

crosstalk

Renee: That’s good for ‘em. Good for’ em. Right. Yeah. Biz: Yes it is! Yes, it is! I get it.

biz

Good job. That said, every child is different and has different needs. And not every child—you can just say “go figure it out” to. ‘K? And different ages; different stages; different needs. So, y’know, you’re an overbearing parent if you’re not letting your children be bored. Uh, you’re an awful, overbearing parent if you’re ignoring your children. All of those articles are usually followed by… boredom-busting summer! How to bust the boredoms! And I’m like—[sighs].

renee

What are these busts? What do they recommend?

crosstalk

Renee: What’s gonna bust a boredom? Biz: It recommends you—

biz

—fucking doing everything for your children! [Renee laughs.] That’s what it is! Like, there’s like, y’know. Summer—with summer here—I am now being inundated with—“Mom’s Summer Camp!!!” And I’m like, mom’s gotta work! [Laughs.] [Inaudible] summer camp! Y’know? I—I—and like, okay. There was one thing I was looking at and it was… these are all the benefits. There’s, y’know, it makes childhood happier. Great. It’s a sense of belonging. I don’t… sure. Uh, this is if they are bored with other children around. ‘K? Like—a lot of mental health and confidence. Looks like they can take lim—test limits and try new things. Again? A lot of this depends on where you live! Right? Like—that’d be like me saying, y’know, you being like—do you… I—I can’t have children ‘cause I live in an apartment. That just wouldn’t be fair to them. [Laughs.] [Renee laughs.] They wouldn’t be able to get out and walk and take the risks they normally do. But underneath this article are… “Best Boredom-Busting Books for Kids.” So they’ve just told you how great boredom is. Now they’re gonna recommend… things to bust boredom. And these are—so like, these are all for kids. So there’s 100 Screen-Free Ways to Beat Boredom. There’s The Never Be Bored Book. There is… Unlock Your Imagination: 250 Boredom-Busters. And then Boredom Buster: Games for the Road. The message this is sending to the child is… you should not, in fact, be bored.

crosstalk

Renee: Ever! Yeah! Yeah! Biz: Ever!

renee

It’s so wild. [Biz laughs.] And this—and it’s, um, adjacent to boredom. In that I remember my mom made this incredible chart. Like, this amazing chart for me to practice my piano. When I was a kid. And there were incentives and there were stickers and it was just—like—a book was read and she followed it to the T. Uh, and I just didn’t—I had horrific hand-eye coordination and it was more frustrating to me than it was satisfying? So as a kid I was like, I don’t wannu. And I remember—like, she didn’t—she didn’t say anything. She didn’t do anything. She was like, okay. We don’t need to. But I remember seeing this ripped-up chart that she’d clearly worked so hard on. [Biz makes noise of sympathy and mild horror.] In the trash! [Laughs.] And so… like, even with best intentions of like… how to do what the thing says, the kid maybe doesn’t need it. And—is just gonna feel bad that mom tried and I wasn’t able to be entertained by the thing you tried to entertain me with! Maybe.

biz

Well, right! Or, like, we just talked about… we just had a show on “I tried so hard today.” Right? And it was all about… making these efforts to… meet all these expectations of helping with the learning or… helping fill some time because you don’t want your children on devices allll day long. Right? And like… y’know, this—it all stemmed from this call that we got where the mom was like, I set up a craft project and… none of them wanted to do it. And then—everything was a mess. And I just like, I was like—fuck this. And I left. And then the kids are all like, we don’t wanna do this—but, why aren’t you helping us do it? And she— [Laughs.] [Renee laughs.] And she’s just like, I just tried so hard! Right? And like… I am totally… down with the boredom. Because it plays into… every problem can be solved. Which is my own issue. That I [through laughter] have to work on in therapy. [Renee laughs.] But like, it’s how I process the world. I can—if it’s a problem—I can try and fix it. And I—that probably came from having to come up with ways to entertain myself! Or do things! Right? But… that, I am sure, was not something I learned overnight and I am sure it was not something I did with one afternoon of boredom. And… y’know, you also have these situations in which I grew up where I could go wander my neighborhood. And I could—I didn’t live, like, in, y’know. Rural America? I mean, there was—it was streets and cars and busy. But there was no stranger danger. Right? There was none of the stranger danger. And… even if you do let your kids go out, there’s still the risk of people calling the police if your child is out on their own! Right? Like— [Renee laughs.] How am I supposed to, like, be okay letting… y’know, when I—we’ve started letting Katy Belle go out on her own walks and do her own bike riding. And… y’know. I cling to the window and stare like a crazy person.

renee

Good mom. Yeah.

biz

But part of my fear is also somebody’s gonna think [dramatically] she’s in danger! [Laughs.] While I just am like—

renee

Yes. Oh my god. Yes. Exactly. It really is—and again, uh, kids and dogs. Different, different. But— [Biz laughs.] —half of my worry is about, oh, is he having fun? And the other half is—what do the people who are seeing me letting him loose in a parking lot thinking? Is this unsafe for him? Is this—yeah. It’s, um— [Laughs.] It’s so hard! It’s so hard.

biz

I know! Well, do you—do you like being bored?

renee

Y’know? I find that it is—there’s a breaking point. There’s a breaking point of—you watch as much TV as you do or—y’know—read, kind of, like, books that aren’t helping you at all. And then there’s just something that you’re just like—oh, I need to be creative. I need to do something more. So… and I will argue that once—at some point, you will not be a kid anymore. And whoever your boss is? Is not gonna hold your hand on what you need to do next. So I think there is something to be said for… experiencing the—oh, I don’t like this? I don’t—I don’t like that I don’t feel proud of myself right now? [Laughs.] And then going out and—and doing something! That you can feel proud of!

biz

Well, that’s interesting. You—does that mean that you associate boredom with… some sort of… failure?

renee

I think… laziness, maybe.

crosstalk

Biz: Oh, interesting! Interesting! Now, is that an adult— Renee: A little bit more. Yeah. I’m just like, I’m not doing anything.

biz

—that’s kind of an adult concept, though, right? Or—was that… also something that was connected with kids? Get on the couch and tell me, Renee. [Laughs.]

renee

Yes. Let’s talk about it. Let’s get into it! Um— [Laughs.] Yeah. I think my family was—they were… we were good with organized chill time. Organized, uh, relaxation time. But… there was—I—there’s definitely a—a, um, I guess, work ethic mentality that was deeply instilled in me? Is if you see anyone else working and you are sitting down? Something’s wrong. And that would be, like, with housekeeping or—like, making dinner or—or something like that. But—

biz

Man. I need to instill that in my family. [Renee laughs.] Deeply.

renee

I don’t know that you do. It, uh, it— [Biz laughs.] —creates a people-pleaser that is impressive. [Laughs.] Uh— [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.] So—I mean, on the one hand, you get—you get a very well-behaved kid? But you get a very people-please-y adult. So…

crosstalk

Renee: You gotta pick and choose your battles. Biz: Well, I will say—

biz

I do use cleaning and chores as a way to motivate them to find something else to do with their time. Because usually when they wander in and say—I’m bored… uh, and I’ll say, y’know, go find something to do. I promise you, you can figure it out. Y’know, and they’re like [exasperated whiny sound] ughhhh. [Renee laughs.] Can I do—can I watch TV? Can I—? No. Go find something to do.

crosstalk

Renee: You can do it. I know you can. Biz: “I can’t!” Well, if you can’t—

biz

—I have lots of jobs that you can do. And they’re like—I got something to do!

crosstalk

Renee: I found it! I found it! Biz: And then they run off—

biz

And then they always find something, like, really nice to do! And I’m like… yeah! So like, I don’t—I… I actually love boredom? I do love boredom.

renee

Mm-hm. I was just gonna say—how do you sit with it?

crosstalk

Renee: How do you like it? Biz: I love it.

biz

I also have the crazy work ethic. I also have the, like… y’know… hardwired to see around corners or whatever. And like… but… I… I think as a result of always being that, like, wired and that on? That like, boredom… was a chance for me to… like, as a kid to wander and explore. I had, like, a—y’know, like, I had a lot of imagination! So it was like… well, I’m gonna go and solve a mystery. Right now. In the neighborhood. Or I’m gonna go… y’know, spy on the neighbor. Or— [Renee laughs.] Like, whatever! Like, I—that seemed totally normal to me ‘cause there was nothing to be afraid of. Right? And so… that just grew into… like… that just developed with me as I got older. Right?

renee

Right. And a curiosity and creativity. Yeah. That’s good!

biz

Yeah! And the, like, y’know. Reading garbage or watching garbage. Y’know. I mean, that was just… downtime? But I have never… seen boredom as something that I should look up. To see if it’s going to kill me. [Renee laughs.] Or… is… something that might be… dangerous. So.

renee

Yeah. The danger I can… sort of get to in that—if I don’t give you healthy means, uh, to behave—will you find unhealthy means?

biz

Right. No. I get that. Yeah.

renee

But, um—or just going into vices to like numb out and stuff like that. But yeah. [Laughs.] But actual, just like, someone entertain me or I’ll die? [Through laughter] I don’t know that I’ve— [Biz laughs.] —ever hit that level. Yeah. [Laughs.]

biz

I don’t know. I—maybe I’ll just run my own experiment here in the house. [Renee laughs.] And, uh, for summer! Oh, wait! That’s it!

crosstalk

Biz: Now I’ve got summer plans! Renee: We did it! [Laughs.]

biz

Just gonna experiment with my two children and boredom. I’ll let you guys all know in the future!

music

“Ones and Zeroes” by “Awesome.” Steady, driving electric guitar with drum and woodwinds. [Music fades out.]

music

Laid-back acoustic guitar plays in the background.

biz

One Bad Mother is sponsored in part by Billie. Self-care and routine are always important, so whatever you’re using to get ready for the day? Should make you feel amazing. Meet Billie. They’ve created everyday essentials by [lilting, sing-song voice] deliverrring! [regular voice] premium razors and high-performing body care directly to you. No pink tax! No visit to the drugstore. Go to MyBillie.com to get their starter kit for just $9. That includes their award-winning razor; two refill blades; and a magnetic holder that keeps your razor safe and dry in-between uses. And they just released three completely clean, must-have products to add to your routine: lip balm, dry shampoo, and face wipes. Get started by going to MyBillie.com/mother to get the best razor you will ever own. Best part? The starter kit is just $9! Plus, free shipping, always. Go to MyBillie.com/mother. That is spelled—MyB-I-L-L-I-E.com/mother. [Music fades out.]

theresa

Hey, you know what it’s time for! This week’s genius and fails! This is the part of the show where we share our genius moment of the week, as well as our failures, and feel better about ourselves by hearing yours. You can share some of your own by calling 206-350-9485. That’s 206-350-9485.

biz

Genius fail time, Renee. Genius me.

clip

[Dramatic, swelling music in background.] Biz: Wow! Oh my God! Oh my God! I saw what you did! Oh my God! I’m paying attention! Wow! You, mom, are a genius. Oh my God, that’s fucking genius! [Biz and Theresa repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss their respective genius moments of the week.]

renee

Well I would love to. Uh, I think it does sort of, uh, lend itself to the boredom earlier. I, uh, I got my dog a, uh, a puzzle game? That you can get just like at Petco and something and so you put a treat in there and then he’s gotta like spin the dial around to get the treat— [Biz laughs.] —to come out. Um, my genius is also my fail? So I can wait to tell you how it worked out at the fail point? Okay?

crosstalk

Renee: Very well. Biz: Okay. That’s great. [Renee laughs.]

biz

No. I—I love a continuation of a gen—I would say that probably most geniuses eventually result in a fail?

renee

Always! Yes! [Laughs.]

biz

All—y’know. That’s not a surprise. Okay. So my genius is… that… and I may have mentioned this before? But I don’t—y’know. Times are hard for geniuses during the coronavirus. So maybe it’s—if I’ve mentioned it, it’s that I’m continuing to do it. So, uh, Katy Belle’s been, uh, struggling a little with, y’know… depression and like just, y’know—eh! She misses her friends. She needs to be with people in school. And one of the things that we started doing was just making sure that we had more “get out and be physical” time. Which is always good for me, who has depression. So we’ve been playing badminton in the front yard. Not with like a net or anything. It usually involves us just being like… “stand back for my awesome hit!” and then it goes, like, nowhere.

crosstalk

Renee: Great! That’s how you play. I’m pretty sure those are the rules of badminton. If I know badminton. Yes. Biz: We’re very bad at badminton. Yeah. That’s right!

biz

And so we’ve been playing not only every morning? Before it gets too hot? But we have been playing in the evening as well. And it has been… really… nice. I can—I can… see that it’s nice for her. And I know it’s nice for me. And so I am happy… that we are continuing to do that.

renee

Good job. Very good job.

biz

Thank you.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hey, everyone! I’m calling in a genius. It’s a tired genius, but it’s a genius. Um… this whole homeschooling thing is not really my… [Biz laughs.] —cup of tea. Uh, I was not meant to be a teacher and my kids were not meant to be taught by me. And we’re struggling. Especially with reading. My kids just… didn’t inherit my love for books and it kills me and I get frustrated— [Biz laughs.] —and I get short-tempered and I just want them to enjoy it and they just don’t. And then we just argue about it. So… one night, I asked them if they wanted to put on a show! And they were so excited. So every night after dinner, I set up my iPad and I log into my Facebook and I hit “live” and I give ‘em a pile of books and I just let ‘em read to whoever happens to be scrolling Facebook. [Renee: Awww.] Um, and they each read for—I don’t even know. Or really care. Like, 20 minutes each? [Biz laughs.] Sometimes more, sometimes less. And they feel so cool. And like they’re putting on a live show and they’re excited about it and they read every single night. They ask me to read. Every single night. And they see all the little things that pop up and say “so-and-so is watching” and they do a little comment and they just lose their minds over it. And so… I’m calling it a genius and… I’m on week two. Or… two-and-a-half? I don’t know. A while. It’s been working for a while! So I’m just saying that like… it’s my genius. Yeah. Anyway. [Biz laughs.] That’s what I got! That was a good idea of mine. I had a good idea. And that was a good job. [Biz and Renee laugh.] Alright.

biz

Yes! That was a good job!

renee

Such a good idea! If that had been around when I was a kid? I would be valedictorian of an Ivy League school. Like, I—the, uh, just make it performance? Forget about it!

biz

I know. I… you are a genius. Uh, you said that you did a good job enough that I feel like I don’t even need to. [Renee laughs.] Because you did such a good job! I am—and the two-and-a-half weeks? That feels like… like a new record for a genius. I feel like that’s some sort of genius record, like… preserved in the halls of genius-fail history! That’s amazing. You are doing… a very good job.

renee

Great job!

biz

Failures!

clip

[Dramatic orchestral music plays in the background.] Theresa: [In a voice akin to the Wicked Witch of the West] Fail. Fail. Fail. FAIL! [Timpani with foot pedal engaged for humorous effect.] Biz: [Calmly] You suck! [Biz and Theresa repeatedly affirm each other as they discuss their respective failures of the week.]

biz

Fail me, Renee.

renee

[Through laughter] So many! So many! [Biz laughs.] Anything that wasn’t my genius, honestly! [Laughs.] Uh—but. Going back to this, um, this puzzle game. So I fall for this—I would say—quarterly. A new dog product will come out that says, uh, “for tough dogs.” For—for dogs who—indestructible! They damn won’t be able to get into this one! It says. [Biz laughs.] And I fall for it every time. So this puzzle that he’s supposed to, like, nose his little nose around to get the dial going—he just bit through the plastic and was like, I’ll grab it that way. It lasted maybe 30 seconds? Maybe. And then just looked at me, like, well, I’m still bored. So, um— [Biz laughs.] [Through laughter] So my—

biz

What do you got next, mom?

renee

Alright. That’s, uh, pretty easy. Uh, so yeah. I think my main fail would be to ever trust a product that says—well. But you haven’t tried us! It’s—this dog can get through anything.

biz

Can I just say, uh… clearly, Tugboat is a genius.

renee

Yes. He is a genius. Yes. [Laughs.]

biz

I mean, like… that—that toy was designed for this, like, long, obvious route. Right? And… Tugboat was like—what is the deal?

crosstalk

Renee: I got a shortcut here for ya! Biz: I can just solve this problem like this! BOOM!

renee

Boom! Now, I—thank you so much for that. I will say that today I posted, um—again. Because he goes through stuff so quickly. So, uh, again, the difference between kids and dogs—I give him the toy in the bag? Which I don’t think you could do with a kid ‘cause that’s a choking hazard. [Laughs.] [Biz laughs.] But it just—it just takes longer if I make him also work through the bag? He’s supervised. He’s fine. So today he had a stick? And he had his bone in a bag. And then he was, like, nudging the stick towards the bone? And so I was just like—I wonder what he’s doing. He’s either—y’know, as smart as Crozar that he’s using a tool to open the bag.

biz

Yeah. He’s probably that.

renee

Probably. Or, uh, or he’s just trying to make ‘em friends. And then everybody who saw it was like, he’s trying to bury the bone with a stick. And it just looked so stupid. Like, what a lovable idiot that he was just trying to put a stick on top of the bone— [Biz laughs.] —and then no one will see it. [Laughs.] I was just—

biz

That is not true! The internet is wrong about that. [Renee laughs.]

crosstalk

Renee: Thank you? Thank you for that? Biz: Good lord.

renee

But I think we stand before you as two very lovable idiots. [Biz laughs.] But we go well together! So that’s fine.

crosstalk

Biz: I love it so much! Renee: So that’s fine. [Through laughter] Um—

biz

Alright. This is… look. Guys? I have said this since the very beginning of the sheltering-in-place. I understand… that Ellis’s regression and need to be with me all of the time is natural. It is his way of coping. With the confusion and uncertainty of the times. When his teachers were doing their wrap-up conference, they asked—did you like being, like, doing school from home? Or did you miss school? And he’s like, oh, no. I loved it! I loved learning from home. Why? Because I get to be with my mama all day. Now… guys, that’s really sweet! I will say—this is just the guilt that keeps me up at night, like all parents—is… like, I’m trying to give him the space? Right? But simultaneously… am I, like, not respecting the boundaries I’d worked so hard to set up prior to this. To help him. So… this is more of, like, a—uhhh, just decided I’m gonna beat myself up today with a fail kind of fail. Like, I know really most of it’s out of my control. But every time he starts crying and screaming when I go to the bathroom, uh, or take a shower, I do feel like—is there something different [through laughter] I could be doing? I don’t know. He’ll be—he’s 13. I’m just kidding. [Renee laughs.] He’s not. But like— [Laughs.] That’s what I feel like! I feel like this is leading to like… y’know… [creepy singing] “I’ll brush your hair, mother!”

renee

Sure.

biz

Y’know. Like—could I braid it tonight, mother? Like, I—this is where… we’re headed. So. It’s not, like, I don’t need anything. I just… bleh! I don’t like it. I don’t like it.

renee

I think you’re doing great.

biz

I will reiterate what I said at the beginning of the show—bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh, bleh! [Renee laughs.]

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] Hi, One Bad Mother! This is a fail. Um, or a rant. I don’t know. But I’m an idiot. And the other day—in the midst of this quarantine—I got an email saying that Easter dinner at my family’s house has been cancelled because we can’t be together. So I yell over to my husband, hey! Easter dinner was cancelled! And then my three-year-old—who I had no idea— [Renee laughs.] —knew what Easter was; remembered Easter; knew anything about it—goes, Easter is cancelled?! And starts crying. And I said, you don’t even know what Easter is! And she said, yes I do! [Renee laughs.] It’s where we get to find those eggs! And I thought—fuck! How did she remember that? [Both hosts laugh.] Now I just screamed that Easter is cancelled and she’s crying and everywhere that is gonna have Easter stuff is either closed or covered in plague germs. So I just had to run to Target and risk my life to buy some goddamn colored eggs— [Both hosts crack up.] —for my kid to find and waste money on stupid crap that she’s probably gonna play with for, like, ten minutes on Easter and then forget all about. And I’m just gonna have to throw it out sometime later. And it’s wasting resources and—the best part of all of this—is that we’re fucking atheists! We don’t even believe in any of this! We don’t celebrate Easter. Our family did. I’m—I can’t. I can’t anymore. I can’t. I need to see other human beings besides my family and I need to stop yelling about things like the Easter holiday being cancelled in front of my three-year-old. [Biz laughs.] What the fuck is happening right now? [Sighs.] Thank you guys. You’re the best.

biz

Well… there’s—there—I have two, uh, things immediately. If I decided that this was a rant—and—and there’s a lot of ranting in it— [Renee laughs.] Uh, I would want to say to you, first off—you’re doing, actually, an incredible job. You went to the Target. You got the eggs. You got the garbage. You did it! You did it. There ain’t nothing religious about bunnies. Alright? Like— [Laughs.] So, y’know. You’re—you actually are an incredible parent. But—we played this in the fails. Because… you’ve, uh, ruined your child’s life. [Renee laughs.] But here’s the thing about three-year-olds—people are always very dismissive of, like, really young kids’ memories? Now, it is true that by the time they, like—or at least with my children—do you like me, science? Sorry, science. It’s true that my children—up until the age of, like, four or… five? Somewhere in that window—they started forgetting everything that happened before. But before that… they—it was creepy. Like, they remembered Easter. They remembered things that we had done a year before. And I would always just be like—how do they remember that? You were, like, two! You’re three! I don’t understand! So I can understand… how that caught you off. So fail. Underestimating your child’s memory. [Laughs.] [Renee laughs.] And, two—fail—is just thinking you could speak in front of your child ever. That—just forgetting that there were kids in your house. That—that’s a fail I have a lot.

renee

Yeah. Oh, absolutely. And yet—and yet—and yet! Uh, I also think it’s a little bit of a genius because, like, it—you were at your breaking point at Easter! And now look at ya! And now look at ya! Somehow you made it from Easter to now! So that’s good! [Laughs.] Yeah! [Laughs.]

biz

I guess that’s good! That’s right. We’re—we are—it might as well have been Easter yesterday. [Renee laughs.] Time is meaningless to us now. Well, you’re doing a horrible job.

music

“Mom Song” by Adira Amram. Mellow piano music with lyrics. You are the greatest mom I’ve ever known. I love you, I love you. When I have a problem, I call you on the phone. I love you, I love you. [Music fades out.]

promo

James Arthur: Hi, I’m James, host of Minority Korner, which is a—? Speaker 1: Podcast that’s all about intersectionality. It’s hosted by James with a guest host every week. Speaker 2: Discussing all sorts of wonderful issues; nerdy and political. Speaker 3: Pop culture— Speaker 1: Black, queer feminism. Speaker 4: Race. Sexuality. Speaker 5: News. Speaker 6: You’re gonna learn your history. There’s self-empowerment. And it’s told by what feels like your best friend. Speaker 2: Why should someone listen to Minority Korner? Speaker 7: Why not? Speaker 8: Oh my god. Free stuff. James: There’s not free stuff. Speaker 1: The listeners of Minority Korner will enjoy some necessary lols, but mainly a look at what’s happening in our world through a colorful lens. Speaker 2: People will get the perspective of… marginalized communities. Speaker 1: I feel heard. I feel seen. Speaker 9: Like you said, you need to understand how to be more proactive in your community? And this is a great way to get started. James: Join us every Friday on MaxFun, or wherever you get your podcast. Multiple speakers: Minority Korner! Because together, we’re the majority.

promo

Music: Jazzy orchestral music heavy on light woodwinds, percussion, and smooth brass. John Hodgman: Hey, everyone! It's I, John Hodgman of the Judge John Hodgman podcast. Elliott Kalan: And I, Elliott Kalan of the Flop House podcast. John: And we've made a whole new podcast! A 12-episode special miniseries called I, Podius. In which we recap, discuss, and explore the very famous 1976 BBC miniseries about Ancient Rome called I, Claudius! We've got incredible guests such as Gillian Jacobs, Paul F. Tompkins, as well as star of I, Claudius Sir Patrick Stewart! And his son! Non-Sir Daniel Stewart. Elliott: Don't worry, Dan, you'll get there someday. John: I, Podius is the name of the show! Every week from MaximumFun.org for only 12 weeks. Get 'em at MaximumFun.org, or wherever you get your podcasts. [Music fades out.]

biz

Renee?

renee

Yeah?

biz

You know…

renee

Biz.

biz

It’s—whenever you come to visit, to cohost, it’s like having a guest.

crosstalk

Renee: Thanks, man! [Laughs.] Biz: Because—

biz

You’re such a treat. And I could talk to you for hours and therefore no guest-guest today. But—as I always say—that’s not really true. Because the most important guest is here. And that’s… a mom having a breakdown.

caller

[Answering machine beeps.] This is probably a rant. Um, I really just called because I needed to hear that I’m doing a great job. [Tearfully.] I’m a… teacher. [Laughs.] I use that term loosely right now. And I have a two-year-old and a ten-month-old. And… I’m not doing either of my jobs well? I’m actually doing a really fucking awful job at both of them right now. Um, so bad that my daughter tantrum’d and screamed at me for hours this morning and I eventually just put her in her crib and decided if she’d sleep or if she needed some—a break from me or I needed a break from her. And she’s the two-year-old. And it was the nine-month-old—ten-month-old, sorry, he just turned ten months old today—um, it was his naptime. So I decided mommy needed at least five minutes where somebody wasn’t screaming at me because the ten-month-old is also teething or just going through a phase where he wants to be held all day. But then he doesn’t wanna be held. I don’t even know what he wants. [Biz laughs.] I don’t know. I don’t know what either of them want and it’s my sixteen-year-old twin siblings, um, birthday—sixteenth birthday. And, um, I don’t talk to my mom for some really crappy reasons and I sent them a Snapchat and they opened it but they didn’t say anything and they haven’t even met my ten-month-old and… one of them’s seen my daughter when she was one and the other hasn’t seen her since she was, like, nine months old. So it’s just… [sighs.] I’m not doing alright. Plus, I mean, we’re on day five million of quarantine, I think? I don’t even know. I can’t—I—I’ve—don’t keep track anymore. I’m losing—I lose it if I find it. If I—if I keep track. And it’s supposed to have bad storms here today so we can’t even go outside. [Sighs.] It’s just—I’ve already fed my daughter peanut-butter-and-jelly for eat least every meal—one meal a day this week? Since—I don’t know—the weekend. Because all she eats is fucking peanut butter. [Biz laughs.] I just—I need people. And I’m just… having a hard time and I needed somebody to tell me I was doing a good job. So. Thank you! And thank you for the show. Alright. Bye.

biz

Okay. First off… you are doing such a good job. You are not alone. This is… awful! And… y’know, I mean, it’s—it—it kinda sucks that… we’re this far into… the… quarantining and the sheltering-in-place and this new way of… living. That we don’t even lead with that being the thing that’s having such a huge effect on us? And… then you have a two-year-old and a ten-month-old. And I am—that’s—that’s! A thing! [Renee laughs.]

renee

So much. Yeah.

biz

That you have in your house! [Laughs.] That’s like—I—you are doing such a good job even giving yourself the five minutes by putting them down and like… I think we’ve done a show in the past on being yelled at all the time? But I really could do another show right now— [Renee laughs.] —about being yelled at all the time. ‘Cause I think at any age? Y’know? They’re like, ten months old. You’re like, I get it. I know why you’re yelling. And then like— [through laughter] two years old? You’re like, ugh. Terrible twos! Yeah. Everybody told me! Terrible twos! They’re all yelling! And then they’re six and they’re yelling and then they’re tweens and they’re yelling. And then—like, everybody’s just yelling at you! And you’re like, who am I? I used to be a person that was in the world that no one yelled at! [Renee laughs.] I’m pretty sure. Unless I really deserved it. And like… me… just coming in and saying hi or helping you brush your teeth—I’m pretty sure it’s not a good reason for being yelled at. [Renee laughs.] If that, like, really—really chips away at the ol’ spirit. Okay? So… yeah! Of course you’re struggling! Duh! It’s really hard! And… peanut butter and jelly. Ellis… for… the entire year that he was physically in the school this year—his entire kindergarten in-school year—and at-home learning—he has a peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich every fucking day. Every! Every day. Currently, he has, like… little Lego Eggo waffles every morning. Sometimes for dinner, too, guys! Yummmm! [Renee laughs.] Breakfast for dinner? That’s crazy!

renee

Wild!

biz

Breakfast for breakfast?! Weird! Uh— [Renee laughs.] Yeah. I—just—there’s too much going on to like… try and—peanut butter and jelly every day, every meal. If that is helping get through this time. Like, of our lives!

renee

This is gonna sound like an exaggeration just so that I can commiserate, but I had a peanut-butter-and-honey—

crosstalk

Renee: Okay, so it’s a little different. But a peanut-butter-and-honey sandwich— Biz: Yeah. Honey. Sure. No, we mix it up.

renee

—every single day of April. And then when I went through my family-sized peanut-butter-and-jelly jar—and—or peanut-butter jar in one month? I was like, okay. Maybe I’ll pull back the reins. But we’re all surviving on peanut butter right now! [Biz laughs.] And I think it’s okay! It’s okay! [Laughs.]

biz

It’s really okay. I know! Yeah. You know you’ve like leveled up—the first time I knew I’d leveled up was when I was getting the, like, the big ketchups? The, like—but the two-packs of the like… that’s the big ketchup! [Renee laughs.] That’s gotta go on a special pantry shelf before we use it ‘cause I’m expecting to go through that much ketchup… in a short period of time. [Renee laughs.] And then, uh, with the peanut butter—when we go and do, like, our, like, shopping for the “never going shopping again”? Uh, there’s so much family-sized peanut butter that’s in the [through laughter] in the garage right now?

renee

Well I might be popping by to borrow some.

biz

Yep! Well, we’ve got it.

renee

Okay. Okay. [Laughs.]

biz

A lot of peanut butter.

renee

[Through laughter] Good.

biz

You are doing… you’re doing such a good job. It is incredibly hard right now. Especially, uh, as adults not having other adults to engage with. But you are, in fact, doing… an incredible job. Renee?

renee

Yeah?

biz

I think that we always learn that dogs and kids are like interchangeable. [Laughs.]

renee

[Through laughter] Sure! Well, you sure make me feel that way. And I appreciate it so much.

crosstalk

Renee: Thank you. Biz: Well—and when you talk about your dog—

biz

—it makes me feel that way. [Renee laughs.] So that’s good. I’m like, yeah. No.

crosstalk

Biz: That’s—exactly. My children— Renee: That’s okay. No.

biz

—would’ve solved the puzzle ball with a hammer. So I get it! Yeah!

renee

About the same! I think that it—in a general sense of being responsible for somebody else’s wellbeing— [Biz laughs.] —is a lot. Whether that be an animal or a child. It’s a lot! It’s a lot. Yeah.

biz

Y’know, we also learned that… boredom is as boredom does. Can I say that? Is that a thing? I don’t know.

crosstalk

Renee: I think you can. Yeah. Biz: I—look.

biz

Guys? Yeah!

renee

I mean, you need to say it in a Forrest Gump voice, but yeah! You can do it! [Laughs.]

biz

I’m Southern. Just—don’t I already sound like that?

renee

Yeah. You could do it. Yeah.

biz

I will—I—this is my thought on the boredom. And like—I do not… boredom… I wonder if that is part of… the, like… parenting emergency rolodex of… I just need to be alone. So, go be bored somewhere. And if, y’know—like everything with parenting, convincing your children to go be bored away from you? Is a, uh, job that you have to do every day forever. ‘K? They’re not gonna just wander off and be, like, hooray! [Renee laughs.] I’m borrred! And I don’t want to share it with anyone! [Laughs.] Like—that’s— [Renee laughs.] Boredom is just go find something to do. Okay? And, y’know, maybe… maybe we’re good at it. Maybe we’re not. That is why the good Lord invented television. Now. The—the bottom line here is… things… aren’t okay right now. In so many—so many ways. And it is… overwhelming. It can even be paralyzing. We’ve said this before, in that… y’know… [sighs.] When it becomes paralyzing—the grief and the… the rage and the sadness—it’s sometimes makes it so you have to step back. And then that can make it feel like… maybe I’m not doing a good job by not saying more and being involved. And I—I wanna say what I read during the Brett Kavanaugh trials, y’know, so many of us were online just like… ahhhh! Like, raging. And I remember different women saying—if you have to step back from this—because it is too much—step back. Because I will take your place. Okay? This is a lot. And… those of us who have the energy to be in the front? Let’s do it. For all of those who are just worn out. Okay? We can have each others’ backs. [Laughs.] [Renee laughs.] Through this. Alright? And… You’re all doing… an incredible job… in a set of really difficult circumstances. We see you. Let’s go see each other. Be kind to yourself. I’m gonna tell you what to do. Go be kind to each other. Okay? Remember sometimes the most helpful way to be an ally? Is to shut up. And listen. [Laughs.] Just—listen! You don’t have to, like, I don’t have to tell you how you feel! [Renee laughs.] I’m just gonna shut up and say—

crosstalk

Renee: I’m gonna listen! And I’m gonna learn! Yeah. Yeah. Biz: —that—and the—yeah!

biz

It’s like fucking like we say with the parenting stuff. Like, lots of times you can just say—most of us just want to hear, yeah, it sucks.

renee

Mm-hm. Yeah.

biz

And I’m tired. Y’know? You know what? I bet you are. That does suck. See? Listening. [Renee laughs.] And I—I know that this community is so good at that. And I am inspired by this community every day. So… everybody? Really… hang in there. You’re doing a good job. Renee? You are doing such a good job. I really appreciate you always coming on and talking with me.

renee

Thank you! And equally, Biz, you are doing such a great job. For you to be going through what you’re going through and yet still be the cheerleader for all of us? Is… I don’t—you’re an inspiration to me! So. Great job to you.

biz

Well… thank you. I’m medicated. Uh— [Renee laughs boisterously. Biz joins in.] And—uh, Theresa? Wherever you are… well, I know you’re at home. Theresa— [Laughs.] [Renee laughs.] Where you are…

renee

Yes.

biz

You are doing… an incredible job. And we see you.

renee

And we love you.

biz

Yes! And guess what, guys? We’re gonna talk to you next week.

crosstalk

Biz and Renee: Byeeeee!

music

“Mama Blues” by Cornbread Ted and the Butterbeans. Strumming acoustic guitar with harmonica and lyrics. I got the lowdown momma blues Got the lowdown momma blues Gots the lowdown momma blues The lowdown momma blues. Gots the lowdown momma blues Got the lowdown momma blues You know that’s right. [Music fades somewhat, plays in background of dialogue.]

biz

We’d like to thank MaxFun; our producer, Hannah Smith; our husbands, Stefan Lawrence and Jesse Thorn; our perfect children, who provide us with inspiration to say all these horrible things; and of course, you, our listeners. To find out more about the songs you heard on today’s podcast and more about the show, please go to MaximumFun.org/onebadmother. For information about live shows, our book and press, please check out OneBadMotherPodcast.com.

theresa

One Bad Mother is a member of the Maximum Fun family of podcasts. To support the show go to MaximumFun.org/donate. [Music continues for a while before fading out.]

speaker 1

MaximumFun.org.

speaker 2

Comedy and culture.

speaker 3

Artist owned—

speaker 4

—Audience supported.

About the show

One Bad Mother is a comedy podcast hosted by Biz Ellis and Theresa Thorn about motherhood and how unnatural it sometimes is. We aren’t all magical vessels!

Join us every week as we deal with the thrills and embarrassments of motherhood and strive for less judging and more laughing.

Call in your geniuses and fails: 206-350-9485. For booking and guest ideas, please email onebadmother@maximumfun.org. To keep up with One Bad Mother on social media, follow @onebadmothers on Twitter and Instagram.

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